Royal Marines

Exercise Dragon Fire: Royal Marines Practise Hitting Enemy Targets

The Small Craft Gunner's Course is part of Exercise Dragon Fire.

Marines training off the coast of Pembrokeshire (Picture: MOD).

Royal Marines have been testing their ability to hit enemy targets from their fast raiding crafts, as part of Exercise Dragon Fire in Wales.

539 Assault Squadron of 1 Assault Group Royal Marines and gunners of Air Defence Troop, 30 Commando IX, have spent two weeks at Castlemartin Ranges in Pembrokeshire taking on shoreline targets on the tactical phase of the exercises.

The Marines fired day and night from their Offshore Raiding Crafts (ORCs).

They can reach up to 50mph and are able to carry General Purpose Machines Guns (GPMG), .50 Heavy Machine Guns (HMG) and Grenade Machine Guns (GMGs).

Live firing at sunset (Picture: MOD).

Lance Corporal Jake Fonseka, coxswain, 2 Troop 539, said: "It’s very important to keep a stable firing platform.

"The coxswains of 539 are at a high level – most of the lads are at a pretty high level with keeping things stable."

All the weapons on board the ORCs require highly-skilled operators, able to deliver accurate fire to shore from a fast-moving craft in very challenging sea conditions.

That responsibility falls to Air Defence Troop in 30 Commando IX, who remain at high readiness to deploy with 539 Assault Squadron on operations across the globe.

Royal Marines Exercise Dragon Fire
(Picture: MOD).